Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Raises All Around

Happy days are here again, at least for top government officials. The Legislature, with the enthusiastic approval of the Governor, voted for pay raises for themselves, and all the judges, including the supreme court.

1. The Governor goes from $70,132 to $130,000 per year - 64% raise.

2. Lt. Governor - no raise. I guess that means they intend to do away with the job.

3. Atty Gen.- from $73,132 to $130,000 - 77% raise

4. Sec'y of State - from $54,848 t $90,000 - 64% raise

5. Land Commissioner, Auditor and Treasurer, each from $54,848 to $85,000 - 55% each

6. District Judges - from $125,950 to $140,000 - 11% raise

7. Circuit Judges - from $140,000 to $160,000 - 14% raise

8. Court of Appeals - from $144,082 to $161,800 - 11% raise

9. Chief Judge, Court of Appeals - from $147,286 to $164,000 - 11% raise

10. Justices, Supreme Ct. - $149,589 to $166,500 - 11% raise

11. Chief Justice, Supreme Court - $164,601 to $180,000 - 11 % raise.

12. Legislature - $15,869 to $39,400 - 145% raise.  Supposedly, this will do away with $14,000 expense accounts as a pay supplement in the form of monthly payments to spouses' LLC's.  Huh?  So far, two of the Legislatures are whining that the raises aren't large enough.

They are also gutting the recently passed "Ethics Bill" which bans various gifts from lobbyists, including paying for lunches.

More good news to come.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

We're On Our Way to Ruin



Feb/ 20

Our new Governor, Asa Hutchinson, has wasted no time in starting Arkansas on that slippery slope toward ruin, just like Oklahoma and Kansas. He signed a bill doing away with the Public Option, affective December 31, 2016. It will throw over 190,000 people off the health care rolls. I don't know how he plans to pay for all his "tax cuts" when that happens, but, that'll be his problem. The people of Arkansas who voted for him are certainly getting the government they deserve. Notice I said "they."

He has also appointed a 16 man bi-partisan (12 Republicans, 4 Democrats) commission to develop a plan to make changes to  the Public Option.  His version of bi-partisan differs from mine, a bit. And, while they're at it, he wants them to study the entire Arkansas Medicaid program. 


Feb 24.

The Arkansas Legislature has passed a bill barring cities and towns in Arkansas from passing anti-discrimination laws. It hasn't occurred to the morons that what will result is the ability to discriminate indiscriminately. The cowardly governor says he won't sign it, but he won't veto it, either. Way to stay firmly on the fence, Governor Hutchinson.



Feb. 25  The slide continues. A bill in the Arkansas Legislature would authorize any of us to assert our religion to break any law we found objectionable. I think, I hope, it failed in committee. Gov. Hutchinson, from atop his fence, said the bill was "broad" and may be in need of amendments. 
 
Before this term is over, even atheists will be on their knees, praying for a few Democrats to be elected in 
 2016.

Stay tuned. 
 

 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Arkansas Legislature Wasted No Time

Feb. 2 - The first, but not last, abortion bill of this legislative session seeks to ban a procedure no currently offered in Arkansas. (A pre-emptive strike, perhaps?): drug induced abortions by telemedicine. This is where a doctor consults with a patient by video and may or may not provide a prescription.

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There is a bill to make schools teach cursive, which I actually support, but not for the reasons the Lege wants it.  Common Core doesn't think cursive is necessary.  The Lege doesn't  think common core is necessary, and they will be chipping away at it every chance they get. 

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The Governor has signed a bill to take effect immediately, abolishing the 9-member Lottery Commission and putting the State  in control, through the Department of Finance and Administration.  Admittedly, something needed to be done about the Lottery. It was poorly thought out and set up by administrators "from off", who were grossly overpaid, and the Lottery has been steadily losing ground.

Maybe it would be better if they sold actual lottery TICKETS, instead of hedging their bets by requiring the purchase of $5 or more scratch-offs before qualifying for the big money. Just a suggestion.

But, turning it over to the State?  Well.  No chance for corruption there, right?

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Oh, yes, there was a bill allowing college staff to carry guns on campus.  The bill failed once, but it's ba-a-a-ck. It'll pass before long.  It's inevitable.

Stay tuned.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Back With a Vengeance

I know, I've been gone a long time, but now that Arkansas has a new (Republican) governor, I might just have a few things to say, for a change. I gt tired of ranting and raving about the Minority Rule that seems to have taken over the country. You could call it a bloodless coup, and it presents me with just too much to rant about.

But, the latest takeover by the Tea Party Republicans in my state promises to reward me with an abundance of stupidity.  It didn't even take a month for the Legislature to start presenting and passing bills designed to do maximum damage.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has planted himself firmly on the fence, one leg on one side and the other leg on the other.  You remember him, don't you? He was the member of the House of Representatives who gleefully led the charge in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

So, hold onto your hats, folks.  Arkansas is on the slippery slope to ruin, just like Oklahoma and Kansas. And, I'm planning to document as many of the ignorant bills that I hear about as I can. 

This could be fun. If you enjoy watching train wrecks.  And, I do.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Home Again

These days, it takes me a lot longer to recover from things.  We spent all last week in Omaha, Nebraska, celebrating Thanksgiving with my daughter and son-in-law, Kelley and Allen.  It's always fun once we get there, and we're always glad to get back home.  However, it has taken me until today to recover. 

The difficult part is the seven hour drive each way.  If there's a more boring drive in this country, I can't imagine what it is.  From Kansas City to Omaha, there is absolutely nothing interesting to see.  It's just flat, straight countryside with nothing to relieve the boredom.  I don't know how people stand to live in Iowa.  One year, we decided to vary the route, and drove through parts of Kansas, with the same result.  Yawn.

Anyway, as I was saying, once we got there, the fun began.  Kelley had to work Monday and Tuesday, but Allen was off all week, which meant he and Jay could run and play - by that I mean they could explore the newest breweries and I could stay at the house with the grandpuppies.  We napped together.

On Thanksgiving, Kelley served a breakfast casserole that had been in the crock pot all night.  Yummy.  Later that morning, we had Mimosas, while Kelley prepared Turkey Roulade with chestnut stuffing.  We didn't exactly have the groaning sideboard that a lot of families have, as there are only four of us in my little family.  But, we did have the usual mashed potatoes and green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy and rolls.

While we ate our meal, Kelley put a delicious apple pie to bake in the oven, which we had a little later, with vanilla bean ice cream.

It was a very tasty day.  We had a nice visit and on Saturday, we made the long, dull trek home.

Now, on to Christmas, which will be pretty quiet, as always.  We will put up our little tree, hang a wreath on the door, finish our shopping, and we'll be ready for Santa.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Missouri Simmers

I have been watching and waiting to see what is going to happen in Ferguson, Missouri when the grand jury makes a decision whether to indict the police officer who shot down an unarmed teenager not long ago.  It is actually making me a bit anxious, wondering what in the world is taking them so long to make a decision.

I can't help thinking the grand jury members are afraid to make a decision.  They must have thought things would die down in time, but that hasn't happened.  If anything, things have gotten worse.  I don't blame them for dragging their feet.  Things could get really bad, really fast, if they don't make a decision they can back up with hard facts one way or another.

The media hasn't helped the situation, as usual.  They are obviously hoping for a conflagration. Even Missouri Governor Jay Nixon seems to be nervous, so he has declared a state of emergency.  Some think this may signal that he has some advance warning, or it could mean that he feels he has to do all he can to keep the peace.

I expect we will have a decision withing the next few days.  All we can do is hope that community leaders,both black and white  will be able to keep everyone calm. and hopefully, everyone in that part of the state can move forward, and have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving day.

Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned.


Friday, November 07, 2014

The Government We Deserve

When you consider how I love to rant and complain, you might think it strange that I didn't jump back into blogging as the election neared.  I can't explain it, either, except that I have been so disgusted with what has been going on, and I can see so many problems with this country, and no one trying to solve them, that I simply didn't know where to start. I still don't know, but I'm going to make a stab at it, and start with the election.  What a debacle!

Apparently, we have the elderly people, who made up a majority of the voters this year, to blame. It seems they are so afraid of the cultural changes going on, they ran like Lemmings to the sea, and voted for the very party that wants to hurt them the most.  Won't they be shocked when all of their Part D, Medicare and Supplemental health insurance policies skyrocket next year, because the insurance companies will no longer be restrained.  And, if they're not already on Social Security and Medicare, imagine their reactions when they discover that they won't be eligible until they are 70, when they had been counting on retiring at65 or 66. It'll be hard to feel sorry for them. 

On the other hand, we can also blame the young people, who are so shallow, self-absorbed, sex obssessed and undereducated, that they can't be bothered to look around them and see the problems.  Won't they be surprised when they lose their newly acquired affordable health insurance, or are knocked off of their parents health insurance before age 26.  And, minorities share the blame, too, because they didn't bother to vote, for reasons passing understanding.  

Wait until the government shutdowns begin, again, and when they can't vote in the next election due to all the voter id laws, fewer polling places and fewer early voting opportunities that make it crystal clear that voter suppression has worked.

Also, I blame the Democrats, gutless wonders that they are.  They ran like rabbits from President Obama during their campaigns, and still lost because they looked like a bunch of lily-livered cowards. Imaging a Democratic candidate who refuses to say if she did or didn't vote for Obama in 2012!  All she had to do was say something like, "Oh well, you know, I AM a Democrat after all -or- making a joke of it, she could have said, "I held my nose and voted for him, ha-ha. Next question."

America seems to be in a collective coma and who knows what will happen to make them come out of it and pay attention.

I give up.  I really do.